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Guizhou to relocate 750,000 poor families to new homes

China Daily, January 24, 2017 Adjust font size:

Guizhou province will relocate 750,000 people from 3,500 villages in poverty-stricken mountainous areas to newly-constructed homes in 2017, Governor Sun Zhigang announced during the Guizhou Provincial People’s Congress, held on Jan 16-20.

Poverty remains a significant problem in the southwestern province, not least due to the lack of water and fertile land in the region’s mountainous territory, which has hindered development efforts in those areas.

Guizhou has therefore decided to focus its resources on relocating poverty-stricken communities from the mountains to new residential areas in nearby towns and cities. In 2016, the provincial government set a target of moving 1.3 million people to new homes by 2020.

More than 458,000 people moved to new houses provided by the government in 2016.

For many beneficiaries of the policy, the move is a dream come true. “It’s so great to have a new house, and we don’t need to pay a penny!” said Liu Xinlan, a local resident in his seventies who never thought he would leave the remote mountainous area. Liu and his two sons moved to a new residential community in Huishui county, adjacent to an economic development zone with rows of well-arranged modern buildings.

The authorities have taken care to locate the new houses near scenic spots, small towns and industrial zones, with the intention of helping the newcomers find new jobs.

Xiao Li is another resident to make the move to the city. She left her original dilapidated house and moved to a new house with three bedrooms. She said that her husband was working in Zhejiang province on a government contract and that she would look for a job at a tea processing factory near her home.

For Liu, Xiao and thousands of others, a new life has just begun and there is much to look forward to in the coming days.

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